Blenheim Palace Light Trail: How to plan your visit

Becky blog author avanti social team

By the Avanti Web Team

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3 mins read | May 19, 2023

The Blenheim Palace Light Trail is a magical experience for all ages. Held around Christmas, it’s a breathtaking display of over one million lights scattered along 2.89km of palace grounds.

With its glistening reflections on the lakes, tunnels of light, and flickering flames of colour, it’s a spectacular event.

Why follow the Blenheim Palace Light Trail?

The Blenheim Palace Illuminated Trail is loved by locals and visitors alike. With the Snow Queen and Father Christmas making appearances in recent years, it’s a great event for families.

The Illuminated Trail takes about 90 minutes to complete but you can take things at your own pace. With hot chocolate and tasty treats available on the way, you can take your time wandering around the gardens.

Is the Blenheim Palace Illuminated Trail just for kids?

The Christmas lights trail is perfect for families, but it’s suitable for everyone. The enchanting atmosphere makes for a romantic stroll, whether you’re on a first date or celebrating your 50th anniversary.

But you don’t have to be a family or a couple to enjoy Christmas at Blenheim Palace. This wonderful event is designed for everyone.

Is the Blenheim Palace Light Trail only on at Christmas?

The light trail is held around Christmas but Blenheim Palace has also hosted a Halloween Light Trail in the past. Keep an eye on their events page for more information.

It only really works between late autumn and winter anyway, as darker nights make the glowing lights come to life. The event certainly ties in magically with the festive period, though.

How to get to the Blenheim Light Trail

The Blenheim Light Trail is held on the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. There is plenty of parking on site but the Blenheim Palace Christmas lights are extremely popular, so public transport may be less hassle. It also means you’ll be able to indulge in a mulled wine or two.

The nearest major town with a train station is Oxford. However, Oxford Parkway and Hanborough train stations are closer. Both of these are only a few minutes by bus from Blenheim Castle.

The most direct route from London to Blenheim Palace is from Marylebone station to Oxford Parkway by train. Then you can catch the number 7 Bus the rest of the way. There is a list of connecting buses on the Blenheim Palace website.

There are also tours of Blenheim Palace that depart from London Victoria. This one also stops in Bampton, so if you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you can see some filming locations on the way.

Can I visit even if the Blenheim Palace Illuminated Trail isn’t on?

Can’t make it for the Christmas light trail? There are several other events you can choose from.

For family fun, check out the Easter Eggstravaganza. If you fancy living in mediaeval times, the jousting competition is definitely worth a visit. And foodies will flock to the Blenheim Palace Food Festival this summer.

What else should you see and do near Blenheim Palace?

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the lights, there’s still plenty to see at Blenheim Palace.

Most famously known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace has a permanent Churchill Exhibition. It’s full of historic artefacts, photographs, and letters documenting Churchill’s life, making it great for history buffs.

There are also many different tours you can do around the palace. The ‘Upstairs’ tour showcases the family’s private apartments. Meanwhile, the ‘Downstairs’ tour shows the staff’s living quarters.

Outside there are several different walks to enjoy, ranging from 0.75 miles to 4.6 miles.

You can also work up an appetite in the Marlborough Maze before enjoying delicious food at The Walled Garden Pizzeria. For children and families, there’s a sensory garden, a miniature train and even a butterfly garden.

Looking to make a day out of your visit with the kids? It’s worth exploring the family ticket option. All tickets for Blenheim Palace must be booked in advance.

Some exhibitions are exclusive to annual pass holders while others can be viewed with a combined ticket for Palace, Park and Gardens.

Plan your journey to Blenheim Palace

With so many different events, attractions, and exhibitions, Blenheim Palace is well worth a visit. To find the most convenient route to Blenheim Palace, check out our handy journey planner.

Or, to enjoy it without worrying about public transport, book your Blenheim Palace tour today.

Buy train tickets for your next journey here:

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees. To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance and booking as a group visit our ways to save page.

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